MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) — A severe storm that roared through the Twin Cities metro area has killed at least one person, damaged homes and businesses and hospitalized 22 people.
Several tornadoes were reported by trained weather spotters to the National Weather Service starting about 2:15 p.m. Sunday. The strength of those tornadoes wasn’t immediately clear.
The storms hit the western edge of the Twin Cities then moved northeast, leaving debris across Interstate 394 and Highway 100 and reports of a funnel cloud near Forest Lake northeast of St. Paul.
Trees were ripped from the ground in several north Minneapolis neighborhoods, including 12 to 18-inch limbs in Theodore Wirth Park. There were also reports of damage to Brooklyn Center, Blaine and Fridley.
Minneapolis Police are asking that all non-emergency personnel stay out of the north side of Minneapolis at this time. Emergency vehicles are experiencing problems entering the area due to traffic. An apparent tornado ripped through the area, taking the roof off one home. Several trees were also uprooted and damaged homes. Some buildings have completely collapsed.
Minneapolis Police have also issued a 9 p.m. curfew for the north side of the city as emergency crews continue to work at the scene and assist storm victims. From 9 p.m. Sunday to 6 p.m. Monday, residents from Penn Avenue to Interstate 94 and Plymouth Avenue to Dowling Avenue are being asked to stay inside their homes. Police will have extra patrols around the city throughout the night.
Fridley Police said there have been no fatalities or injuries as a result of the severe weather. Authorities said there is significant structural damage to several businesses and homes. A series of rail cars were also tipped over near 44th and Main St. Authorities said live power lines are down and people need to stay away from the area.
Minneapolis Police said a shelter has been set up at the Northeast Armory at 1025 Broadway St. NE for people affected by the storm. Shuttle buses are picking people up at Fourth Precinct, located at 1926 Plymouth Avenue. A Family Assistance Center has also been set up for those who have not accounted for loved ones who may have been affected by the severe weather. Residents are asked to call (651) 268-8537 for information.
WCCO-TV’s Reg Chapman Reports
The Salvation Army has set up a mobile kitchen for tornado victims at 25 37th Avenue NE in Fridley. There is also a crew in north Minneapolis that has already served as many as 650 meals to victims.
North Memorial Hospital reported that 27 patients have been admitted due to tornado-related injuries. Of those, 18 are minor injuries. Region’s Hospital and Hennepin County Medical Center reported they have not had any patients yet with storm-related injuries. A local hospital has also closed due to damage from the tornado. The North Memorial Clinic – Camden Physicians office in Minneapolis is closed until further notice, and patients with appointments there are being transferred to the same facility in Plymouth. Patients are asked to call (763) 225-5100.
Xcel Energy officials said that as of about 8 p.m., 11,000 customers remained without power. Most of those were north Minneapolis and west metro customers.
Gov. Mark Dayton, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Congressman Keith Ellison will tour the damage in North Minneapolis at about 9:45 a.m. on Monday.
Funnel Cloud Makes Apparent Touchdown In North Metro
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